Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Southern gas shortage pains rural commuters

Many rural commuters are finding the drive to work increasingly difficult due to continuing gas shortages in the heart of the Southeast. The lingering effects of hurricanes Gustav and Ike have created long lines, high prices and shortening tempers at gas stations in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

"The problem began when Hurricanes Gustav and Ike battered Gulf Coast refineries, reducing the national refinery capacity by as much as 20 percent," writes Robbie Brown of The New York Times. "It worsened as nervous drivers stockpiled gasoline." (Photo by Tami Chappell of Reuters)

Frustration continues to mount for many drivers who commute from rural communities to larger cities. Marsha Lewis, 43, an administrative assistant who lives in Dacula, Ga., and commutes to Atlanta, told Brown, “I drive an hour to work every day, and looking for gasoline has become my entire life.” Accord to the AAA automobile club, the shortages should steadily decline but supply will not return to normal until sometime in mid-October. Until that time drivers across the Southeast, most of which has no major refineries, will continue to see "long lines, high prices and widespread station closings," adds Brown. (Read more)

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